Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Wonder Years

Few shows have stood the test of time like The Wonder Years. Thanks to a once-a-scam-but-the-guy-got-a-conscience EBay purchase, my mom bought all of the episodes years ago on DVD. Recently, NetFlix put all of the episodes up online. It's so much easier to sit in bed and stream the episodes rather than getting up and changing the DVDs, so needless to say, I've been on a Wonder Years BINGE the past week.

I've seen every episode, literally, more than once. However, watching them now, I already feel like I have a different perspective than the last time I watched the show. Kevin Arnold, the lead character, plays an All American boy growing up from around 1968-1973. The grown man Kevin Arnold reflects back on his adolescence, and narrates each episode. Listening to the narration, I feel that he is describing what he knows now, and didn't necessarily know then. Watching it as an adult, I feel like it's giving me my own adult perspective on many random events that happen in an adolescent's life.

I love the "Math" episodes, when Kevin starts a new class hating his mean math teacher. After a few episodes, Kevin begins to appreciate him. The teacher took a special interest in helping Kevin. Then, toward the end of the season, the teacher dies. Kevin had previously been a smart-ass on his last test, with answers like "So what?!" and "What gives?!"....the teacher "misplaced" the test and Kevin is given another opportunity to take the test after discovering the passing of the math teacher. 

This episode always chokes me up! The ending of "Goodbye"

I love the innocence and purity of Kevin's relationship with Winnie Cooper, the girl next door. She ends up moving and going to a different school, but Kevin's feelings remain constant, even as he dates other girls. The episode, "The Accident," evokes tears everytime! In fact, I REMEMBER a closing shift at the Library while I was in Oklahoma, when the bartender and I were talking about this episode, went to the back on the computer, watched this scene (adding to the 198,000 views), and CRIED prior to going back to our restaurant duties...

I love the complexities between Karen, Kevin's older hippie sister, and Jack, the stern and stubborn father.

Watching the show, I feel like the major shift that was occurring in the last 60s is occurring again today. With the exception of technology (and that is one huge exception....even the way I'm delivering my point of view is only an option based on that exception!), I don't think much has changed between that generation and mine. The clashing of morals and values. The common denominator being family. 

Math teachers still annoy students. Boys and girls still have crushes on eachother. First borns still question their parents' way of thinking. Not much has changed. But watching this show, hearing an adult perspective on these subtle life events...it's a sort of healing therapy. God bless the creator of this show! It's pure genius. And THANK YOU, NETFLIX, for making it so easy to watch.

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